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Flexible Paper Sculptures Defy Expectation

Craft & Design
Flexible Paper Sculptures Defy Expectation

hongbo flex paper girl

Inspired by the honeycomb-cut paper decorations popular in Chinese festivities, Beijing-based artist Li Hongbo uses the same technique to create otherworldly sculptures that look like they’re made of plaster when resting, but have the ability to accordion out to bizarre proportions. A book editor and designer, he’s had a love affair with paper for years and strives to expose its “endless possibilites.” One of his full-body sculptures is composed of 30,000 sheets of paper glued together and then sawed into shape.

hongbo flex paper skull

hongbo flex paper girl on couch

hongbo flex paper leg

Here’s a video of the artist himself demonstrating the transformative capabilities of one his sculptures:

[via Colossal]

14 thoughts on “Flexible Paper Sculptures Defy Expectation

  1. computer issues says:

    I am glad to see this art it is amazing art…….

  2. allicat says:


  3. Zing says:

    Holy s**t, that’s the T-1000 terminator.

  4. Henry says:

    What type of paper does he use and does he create the honey comb structure by hand??

    1. ronnie says:

      saw some other video in the link, and it said he does glue all the sheets by hand. It’s a pretty simple process of gluing the sheets with alternating strips of glued area. jump to about 6min in. Judging by the look of the finish I’d thing he made blank blocks of the honeycomb paper then carved it to shape. Very creative.

      1. Joby Elliott says:

        With the right rig built to hold them and a bunch of glue sticks, making massive amounts of the stuff could probably be even be pretty fast and painless.

    2. stf says:

      I found an other interesting way and tool to make paper 3D sculptures:!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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